Before I was a mom, I would have never believed that a woman living in Canada, in an urban centre, in the 2000's would be denied an informed choice about where and how to give birth. In my pre-mom naivete I believed that birth plans carried weight and were a critical element of quality, patient-centred care. I knew that birth had all kinds of twists and turns - that often those planning vaginal birth had a need for c-section or found the pain of labour too great and needed pain medications. However, I believed (wrongly!) that such flexibility was reserved for the exceptional circumstance. I mistakenly thought that the phenomenon of waitlists and care rationing was absent from maternity care - after all it seems absurd that such things would apply in this area of care. As anyone with any experience with babies knows - babies do not wait! Further, the care needs of pregnant woman are known largely in advance - there are a good 7 to 8 months of advance notice...
I certainly did not just show up at the hospital one day and say - I'd like my c-section now please. Rather from the first prenatal appointment, I let it be known that that was my preferred method of birth.
The decision to inadequately resource labour and delivery services has undoubtedly saved the system money - but at what cost? Would I be sitting here more than 15 months after the event still thinking about it, if I had gotten the care that was appropriate in a timely way? Would I be so trepiditous about venturing towards having another baby? How many other women in BC feel as I do?
Forcing women to endure the pain of childbirth against their will when there is medical technology available that is on a whole, safe, to alleviate the pain of childbirth seems really misogynistic and antiquated. Doing so to save money, is just cheap!